Damien O’Kane — Areas of High Traffic (2015)

Damien O’Kane — Areas of High Traffic (2015)

   Damien O’Kane — Areas of High Traffic (2015) Damien O’Kane — Areas of High Traffic (2015)♠   An immense banjo player. An accomplished, versatile guitarist. A seriously good singer. A naturally inventive arranger. An inveterate musical explorer. A producer. A bandleader. A provocatively original interpreter of folk song.
♠   And when all the pieces are fitted together with unconditional love, care and attention to detail, the results are spectacular.                                                                 Location: Coleraine, Ireland ~ Yorkshire, UK
Album release: 2015
Record Label: Pure Records
01 ‘Til Next Market Day     4:49  
02 The Blacksmith     6:17  
03 Don’t Let Me Come Home a Stranger     5:34  
04 The Maid of Seventeen     6:16  
05 The Close of an Irish Day     5:12  
06 The Banks of the Bann     5:23  
07 The Goddaughter — Pt. 1     5:27  
08 Interlude for Mama     1:39  
09 I Am a Youth     5:45  
10 Erin’s Lovely Home     5:28  
11 The Green Fields of America     5:45
Robin Denselow, Thursday 12 November 2015 18.15 GMT / Score: ****
♠   Damien O’Kane is best known to folk audiences for his excellent guitar and banjo work, backing his wife, Kate Rusby. But now comes a confident and bravely original second solo album (or third if you count his collaboration with David Kosky) that promises to transform his career. He’s a thoughtful and powerful singer with a fine Ulster brogue, who specialises in reworking mostly traditional Irish songs with bold new settings. So his sturdy treatment of The Blacksmith is enlivened by startling percussion work from Cormac Byrne, while The Banks of the Bann is treated to a new melody, lush keyboard and guitar backing, and added vocals from Rusby. Half of the songs deal with emigration from Ireland and include a powerful new treatment of Erin’s Lovely Home that switches from banjo–backed lament to percussive stomp. An inventive set that could well become a crossover commercial success.   //                          Damien O’Kane,
(born 1 September 1978), is a Northern Irish musician, born in Coleraine. He currently lives in Yorkshire with his wife, musician Kate Rusby, and their two daughters.
•   Steve Iveson guitar
•   Cormac Byrne drums
♠   ‘On ‘Areas of High Traffic’ Damien O’Kane has managed to create a rich and innovative sonic palette without sacrificing any of his roots and traditional values. The electric guitars of Steven Iveson are particularly atmospheric, especially when blended with exquisitely measured percussion.
♠   In addition, Damien’s vocal performances are the best he’s yet captured. All in all, a triumph. I love it’. — MARK RADCLIFFE, BBC RADIO 2/6MUSIC
♠   ‘Damien’s new collection of songs (AREAS OF HIGH TRAFFIC) and tunes is the perfect compliment to his previous work. Again he draws from songs of his native Ulster and chooses a few songs of emigration which gives further poignancy, given that he is an emigrant himself. The arrangements are progressive as we’ve become to expect from Damien. He’s also not afraid of taking on the ‘big’ songs and his version of ‘I’m a Youth that’s inclined to ramble’ which is complimented with a magnificent hypnotic soundscape, is the stand out piece of this body of work. A triumph from one of Ulster’s finest.’ — LYNETTE FAY, BBC RADIO ULSTER
♠   ‘This an outstanding piece of work. I just cant get enough of listening to it. Traditional sounds are very evident but there is a progressive twist which is adorable. I love every aspect of this CD and would be torn as to make a decision what it is that is so outstanding but if I had to it would be that gorgeous irish lilt and the most incredible drums, bits and bangs. Every track is addictive. LOVE LOVE it if you havn’t got that by now. More please.’ — Mary Amor, fan
♠   ‘‘Areas Of High Traffic’ takes a new direction in which  the studio polish and arrangements and stellar performances are key factors yet at the core of the album Damien O’Kane remains embedded firmly in his roots.’ — Mike Ainscoe, louderthanwar

♠   http://www.theguardian.com/ // http://damienokane.co.uk/review/areas-of-high-traffic/  //  http://damienokane.co.uk/

Damien O’Kane — Areas of High Traffic (2015)


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